The Prespes Lakes area contains the highest degree of species biodiversity in a corresponding surface area in Europe. It is a unique lake landscape of outstanding natural beauty that includes a wealth of monuments from the Byzantine and post-Byzantine period. The local populations have closely associated the area, its history and its natural beauty with myths, legends and traditions.
Such being the case, the organization of trips around the Prespes Lakes area using solar powered boats can be utilized as an effective tool for increasing attractiveness of the area of interest, aiming at promoting different aspects of the cultural and natural heritage, demonstrating at the same time in real life the endless potentials and advantages of solar power, especially in this part of the world. In this way, it will subsequently contribute to a high increase of the Prespes Lakes area popularity both in the local and foreign touristic market.
Following the supply of 3 (three) solar powered boats (two by the Municipality of Prespes and one by the Municipality of Liqenas), these solar powered boats will transport visitors on Prespes lake area, providing them with an excellent opportunity to admire the magnificent cultural (byzantine and post-byzantine monuments, architectural heritage, wall & rock paintings, etc.) and natural heritage of the respective area.
Solar Power- 21st century boating
Electric boating is regaining in popularity, and will continue to do so while diesel prices increase as resources diminish. Diesel has many costs which are not included in the price at the pump – such as environmental damage and global conflict. Today solar powered electric propulsion is a practical, economic alternative to diesel engines on boats. High performance solar panels, batteries, chargers, motors and motor controllers are more affordable than ever.
The advantages of the use of solar powered boats can be summarized as follows:
- Low maintenance and low running cost
- Space-saving installation
- Environmentally friendly: it's quiet and it’s clean.
- Electric boating gets you get closer to the wildlife: there's no need to shout over the engine noise and you can hear someone falling in. It’s also a great way to enjoy the inland waterways.
The two Municipalities involved in this project (the Greek Municipality of Prespes and the Albanian Municipality of Liqenas) have developed during the past few years close collaboration in order to create conditions of common planning for joint actions concerning preservation and promotion of the natural & cultural heritage of the area, protection of the environment, improvement of the tourism product of the area and overall development of the Prespes Lakes area. This collaboration has been ‘officially’ acknowledged with the signing of a Protocol of Collaboration on 4/12/2007.
Last but not least, the GREEN BOAT project also comes in line with the strict requirements implemented by the Trilateral Formal Agreement signed in February 2010 between Greece, Albania and FYROM for the protection of Prespes Lakes. This Agreement states that large-scale development initiatives in any sector are often incompatible with the preservation of the values of the area.
The project keeps a balance among the environmental, economic, and socio-cultural aspects of tourism development in the area in order to guarantee long-term benefits to the recipient cross-border communities of Greece and Albania.